Thursday, July 25, 2013

Rabbi Ovadia Isikoff Shot in the Chest in Russia; Seriously Injured in the Violent Dagestan Region

Lubavitch emissary Rabbi Ovadia Isikoff -- who is the Rav of the city of Derbent, the second most important city in Russia's predominantly Muslim-populated Dagestan region -- was seriously injured today (July 25, 2013), after being shot in the chest, most likely by an Islamist, according to the Jewish Press website.

Rabbi Isikoff -- in his 40s and married with four children -- was coming out of his car, returning home from a ritual slaughtering, when he was shot. He is in the local hospital, where doctors say he is fighting for his life. Local police are conducting a manhunt for the suspect, who fled after the incident.

Chief Rabbi of Russia Rabbi Berel Lazar -- who is himself part of Chabad Lubavitch -- has hired a medical airplane from Israel with a qualified surgeon, a paramedic, and an intensive care doctor to aid Rabbi Isikoff's treatment.

The Dagestan region of Russia -- located in northern Caucasia -- is considered the most violent region in Russia today. Various radical Islamist organizations conduct frequent attacks on government and civilian targets with the aim of establishing an independent Muslim state in southern Russia -- something that Russia has no intention of doing.

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